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Creating accessible parks and play spaces: A how-to guide for Indian cities

With growing urban stresses and hurried everyday lifestyles, play becomes a critical way for children to develop their imagination, dexterity, and physical, cognitive, and emotional strength. Very young children start engaging actively with the built environment in places where they live, learn and play as well as when they move from one place to other. Parks play spaces and open areas make an important place in the early years and development of young children. As these places, actively promote children’s play, and support them in developing their auto skills, learn to socialise beyond the setting of their homes and most importantly help them become an active part of the built environment.

In addition to being a critical indicator of overall development and growth, play in the early years of a child, is also a key indicator of an inclusive, equitable and healthy urban ecosystem. The Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs is actively taking steps through its ongoing urban missions such as Smart Cities Mission & AMRUT Mission ensuring inclusions towards including parks, green spaces, and recreation areas by assuring at least 1 park in each ULBs with focused intervention for developing facilities for children of all age groups and abilities.

Creating Accessible Parks and Play Spaces, A how-to guide for Indian Cities comes as a well-timed handbook, for all the mission cities and development agencies, NGOs, architects and planners to take better cognizance of how to design play spaces for children of very young age. Through this handbook done under the Child Friendly Smart Cities project at NIUA by Gudgudee and CFSC team, it is hoped that an engaging discourse is initiated, encourage cities themselves to become catalysts in mainstreaming the needs of children, and contribute to a new form of playable urbanism.